Before you bake a cake, you need the foundation of all the ingredients on hand so you can successfully put together the ingredients and then bake something delicious. Before you get organized, you also need the proper ingredients or a foundation to get started. When you don’t have what you need to succeed, you don’t get to enjoy cake and you don’t get organized.
In order to get organized, there are three essential prerequisites that you need:
- The desire to get organized. If you feel like your cluttered home is just fine the way it is and you have no desire to change, then prodding from friends and family to declutter probably isn’t going to work. At least it’s not going to work for very long. You have to be ready to make changes and muster the energy to make decisions and let some things go yourself. It’s not too different from exercise. You have to have the desire and motivation from within to get up and do it. It doesn’t mean you have to do it alone, but you do need the desire and push to move forward.
- Time. It’s common to feel short on time considering how busy most people are in life. But if it’s something important, we have to find a way to carve out time to dedicate to doing it. Sometimes you have to get hard core and drop other activities from your life to put your energy where you want it to go. But for most of us, a few adjustments and being purposeful about carving out time to get organized is all it takes. When I work with clients, I typically work in 2-3 hour sessions because you can get a lot done and still have time to move onto other things. If you’re working on your own, you can even get a lot done in 10 or 30 minute decluttering sessions, as long as you do that consistently and don’t bring more items into your home during that time.
- Accountability. Many people work out with friends or a trainer because the scheduled appointment time and the encouragement make us more likely to show up and just do it. Accountability goes a long way toward helping us meet our goals. When it comes to organizing, you can work with someone so you have a date and time on your calendar and you can’t easily put it off to a different day. If you choose to work on your own, you can always check in with someone to share reports on your progress to stay accountable.
Make sure you have these prerequisites in place so you can get organized and then have your cake and eat it too!
Courtesy of my Efficient Organization column in the Lake Stevens Ledger.